Thursday, July 27, 2006

Abstract Index playlist - Jul 26/06

First of all, thanks to Tanya Mullings for pinch-hitting on Wednesday - she pulled over on the side of a highway to speak over the phone. Now that's a pro!

This week's disc is a trip down memory lane. I was happy to see former CIUT jazz programmer Barry Livingston pop by while Henry Threadgill's "Official Silence" was playing. We recalled the early days of CIUT which featured jazz from 1-4PM Monday through Saturday. Jazz programming was, and continues to be, a great source of fundraising dollars, if no longer at CIUT. Campus community stations were vital in fowarding the tradition and pointing the way towards all-jazz formats which sprouted up in the mid to late 90s.

Much of the jazz played on CIUT at the time was made by contemporary boundary pushers, and there was a big harmolodic scene in Toronto at the time. While my dad has an extensive jazz collection, my own jazz education (and many others) really began with then-new releases by electricians Ornette Coleman, Ronald Shannon Jackson, Bill Frisell (Power Tools!!), and Threadgill. At a time when university jazz programs were thoroughly in thrall of the Wyntonian thesis of neo-conservatism, electric jazz was still derided as sellout music and watered-down improv. As a major disciple of all things Bill Laswell at the time, it seemed obvious that Sonny Sharrock and Robbie Shakespeare were but a few Rolodex entries of separation away; harmolodism offered new ways to balance not only groove, harmony, and melody but also new techniques in electronic production and global musical vocabularies.

Threadgill is not typically thought of as harmolodic. He bears all the hallmarks, though. He's always combined ever-changing chords with haunting melodies, unusual instrumentation recalling New Orleans (especially with his use of tuba as bass) and implicit funk. Several great records were made with Laswell, including this one, feature adventurous mixes.

"Official Silence" is a well executed Carlton Barrett-style reggae drum pattern. Often, reggae is poison for jazzers who never know when to shut up in this context (NB. this is less and less true). In Threadgill's capable hands the dubwise spirit he's going for in this song is superbly executed.

juan de mata - peru negro (iempsa)
bombe - afrodizz (c4)
nr time - mizellstory (blue note)
soul love now - oneness of juju (strut)
third door on the left - binary system (atavistic)
new feet - david byrne/brian eno (nonesuch)
trafelato - ennio morricone (ipecac)
taking the fun out of it - justin haynes/nick fraser (independent)
serenity - frequency (thrill jockey)
official silence - henry threadgill (columbia)
i believe in music - bob and wisdom (light in the attic) - this disc is now #8 in the Canadian charts!
eternal love - the sheiks (light in the attic)
doin the do - bobby byrd and the jbs (polydor)
tell it like you feel it - quantic (ubiquity)
see mi yah - rhythm and sound feat. willi williams rmx by hallucinator (burialmix)
walls of silence - noiseshaper (sounds from the roof)
rockers deliverance dub - vibronics (tanty)
my selector - dubmatix (dubmatix)
consecrate yourself - josie mel (minor 7 flat 5)
boom shack-a-lack - junior reid (soul jazz)
man at work - lester sterling with king cannon (moll-selekta)


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